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Will autonomous vehicles makes roads safer for you?

self-driving car.jpegThere are several self-driving car models being tested on the roads in America. These vehicles have a strong potential to take human error out of the equation, potentially making it safer to drive on the roads at any time.

Computers make decisions faster and don't base decisions on feelings. They're capable of processing multiple needs at once, helping them brake, swerve and adjust at the same time, whereas a person may only process the need to brake and swerve, not being able to adjust in time to avoid losing control. Yes, self-driving cars have the potential to be life-saving vehicles.

Self-driving cars could save lives

According to recent research in Ohio, self-driving cars could prevent up to 80 percent of crashes caused by human error. Considering that there were 300,000 crashes in the state and 94 percent were caused by human error, this could translate to many lives being saved across the United States. A number of states -- including California -- allow certain self-driving car tests on their roads.

There are a number of "levels" of autonomous cars. Presently, the vehicles being tested are called "level 2" self-driving vehicles. These vehicles don't drive autonomously, like many believe.

Instead, self-driving cars at Level 2 have a type of autopilot best used on highways. In the cities, these vehicles need a driver to take control. Likewise, they can't turn on their own and won't be able to make lane changes for you.

However, vehicles of higher levels are on their way. Google and UBER are both testing Level 3 vehicles, for example, which would use cameras, sensors and mapping software to drive on city streets safely. The vehicles would drive on their own in most cases, allowing a driver to take over if necessary.

Level 4 and 5 vehicles are where the reality of saving lives becomes prominent. Level 4 vehicles wouldn't require drivers to interact, but gas and brake pedals would still be present with a steering wheel. This gives drivers the option of driving if they prefer. Level 5 vehicles, which would be completely autonomous, wouldn't even need a steering wheel or pedals.

The reality is that Level 4 and 5 cars are perhaps decades away from driving on the streets in America, but testing has shown the possibility of reducing the risk of crashes through the use of this technology. Testing is in its early stages, but it's hoped that these improved vehicles will help reduce crashes, injuries and deaths in the future.

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